Friday, July 31, 2009

SHOW US YOUR LIFE - Wedding Flowers/Ceremony/Party

It's time again. Part 2 of Kelly's Korner, Show us Your Life! Last week we looked at wedding dresses and this week we are back with flowers, the ceremony and wedding party.

Let's start with flowers. I knew from the very beginning that I wanted my bridesmaids to wear black and I wanted to carry a bouquet of white flowers and went with stephanotis. It wasn't until the last minute that I went with the theme of my florist's shop called "A Twist of Lime" and decided on lime green flowers.



blurry, but close up!

Our wedding party was HUGE! We each had seven attendants and then ushers, readers, singers, ring bearer and flower girl.

This is me and my beautiful sister, and maid of honor, Whitney.

My gorgeous bridesmaids. Love them!

A more serious one...

Me and one of my best friends, Beth!

The Needham (maiden name) and Reddick girls. We've been friends with Anna and Ashley for over 10 years.

Me and Ash before we got dressed. I was in Ashley's wedding 2 months before mine. I love this picture for 2 reasons, 1) It's me and her! 2) Look at my sister in the background...her reflection in the mirror shows her chowing down on a salad!

Unfortunately, these are the only digital pictures I have. They were all from my friends' cameras so I don't have any better pictures of the men.

Head on over to Kelly's Korner to see the other weddings!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

thursday's thoughts

  • today is my last day of work. that is very strange, weird, exciting, sad and bittersweet.
  • i miss my husband. he has been out of town since monday. out of town means he is in hamilton for the week doing summer music camp. he is coming home tonight and then tomorrow we will go to the last day of music camp together. i'm excited. i've never been a part of music camp, just seen the performance.
  • we are moving in 3 days...yikes!
  • yes, i have been sleeping on my husband's pillow this week.
  • i haven't been on a date with my husband in...well, i can't remember. sad but we are so busy right now. i think that will be one of the first things we do when we move to victoria.
  • i am in love with my iphone. can't get enough. love it.
  • i am eating really random food right now in hopes to clean out our fridge. the other night i had about 1/2 cup frozen corn, 1/2 a cup of frozen peas, 1/2 cup frozen broccoli and applesauce. that was my dinner.
  • i screen phone calls. stop judging, you know you do it too.
  • my bff, beth and i have this challenge going. it's called say no to the scissors. we can't cut more than a quarter inch off of our hair until january 1, 2010. we both want long hair.
  • have you seen the nail salon video on youtube? watch the video and you'll see why the picture below is so great. i saw this at the intersection of valley mills and bosque for you waco people.
    Magic Nail

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Coconut Cupcakes

Coconut Cupcakes

I promise you, these will be the best coconut cupcakes ever. And the cream cheese frosting. Perfect. Make these, I promise you won't regret it!

Coconut Cupcakes

Coconut Cupcakes

2 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup whole milk
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large egg whites, plus 1 whole large egg

Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature. This is very important.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line two standard muffin pans with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a measuring cup, combine the milk and extracts. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg whites and the egg and mix until they are combined. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until it is combined. Gradually drizzle in all the milk mixture. Add the remaining dry mixture and mix carefully until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake cups (they should be two-thirds full) and bake about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed lightly and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes about 2 1/2 cups

8 ounces cold cream cheese
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 cup sweetened coconut shavings

Cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add salt, powdered sugar, vanilla and coconut. Frost cupcakes and top with sweetened coconut shavings.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

change, moving, waco, restaurants, etc.

The longer I live in Waco the more I love it. I am so comfortable here. Everything is so familiar. But change is good. And change is about to happen.

John is out of town this week so I'm finishing up the packing, patching nail holes, taking down cabinets and shelves (yes, I'm using power tools!), and painting. It's a lot of work and I got a pretty good workout last night by moving boxes. You move boxes non-stop for almost 2 hours and you will too.

Knowing that we are leaving Waco soon {and by soon, I mean in less than 1 week} I've tried to visit our favorite places. And by places I really mean restaurants.

Here are a few that I've gone to one last time:
D's Mediterranean Grill (for a chicken kabob, greek salad and spanakopita)
Cafe Cappuccino (for a spinach egg white omelet and a banana pecan pancake)
Food for Thought (for really anything on their menu, black bean burrito mostly)
Siete Mares (for grilled Mahi Mahi with creamy crawfish jalapeno sauce)
Se Cocina (for fajitas and chips and salsa)
Papa Rollo's (for pizza)

And a few places I would like to make it to: {not sure I will...these are the non-figure friendly places!}
Health Camp (for a milkshake)
Vitek’s (for a Gut Pack)
Baris (for salad, bread and pasta)
Lolitas (for a breakfast burrito and chips and queso)

It seems like everyone who moves to Waco dreads it at first but grows to love it. We love it.

Those of you who have lived here or do live here, what do you love most/miss most about Waco?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Award Winning Chili


My dad has been making this chili for so many years. It is tried and true and always amazing. It has been entered in dozens of chili cook-offs and has won several times. It's always better the second day (as many soups, stews and chilis are) but is still fabulous the first day.


Award Winning Chili
my dad

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large bell pepper, finely chopped
1/8 cup chopped jalepeno (from jar)
1/8 cup jalapeno juice (from jar)
2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup vegetable oil or canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon marojam (the spice, don't get this confused with the butter)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 medium bay leaves
3 (16 oz) cans stewed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce

In a large pot over medium high heat, add jalapeno juice and oil. Add onion and bell pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. Brown meat with onion and bell pepper. Drain meat for about 10-15 minutes. Add tomatoes, paste, sauce, jalapenos, all spices and Rotel. stir well and simmer for 2 hours.

**This really is best the next day so if you can make it the night before cook for a few hours, and then refrigerate overnight and then reheat it is so much better. But it's still good fresh. Cooking the onions, peppers and meat in the jalapeno juice is what gives this chili a lot of heat!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!

Happy Birthday Dad!

My 26th Birthday

I hope you have a fantastic birthday!

PS: If you haven't noticed, we are a family of summer birthdays. Mine starts things off on June 10, John's is July 7, my sister's is July 13, my niece's is July 16, my brother's is July 24, Dad's is July 25, my sister-in-law's is August 3, Mom's is August 10, and my older half brother is August 30.

Friday, July 24, 2009

SHOW US YOUR LIFE - Wedding Dress

This week will be my first time to participate in Kelly's "Show Us Where You Live/Show Us Your Life" and I'm so excited.

John and I got married almost 4 years ago, August 6, 2005. I absolutely fell in love with my dress the minute I put it on. After many dresses I was starting to get afraid that I wouldn't find my dress. I always heard that once you put it on you know but I wasn't getting that feeling.

Then I did!



My dress was white, with crystals and beading with a silk organza overlay. I loved what the silk organza did for the dress.


I'll leave you with just a few pictures. I don't have a lot because our photographer shot in mostly film!

Make sure you check out Kelly's Korner for more dresses!!

And also, leave a comment below and tell me your favorite iPhone App!

Happy Birthday Bud!

Happy Birthday to the best brother ever!

Mark's Show
Me and Mark at one of his shows.

Today my "baby" brother Mark turns 22...I can't believe it!!

My 26th Birthday
Mark and his beautiful girlfriend, Kelsey.

Happy Birthday Bud! I love you!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


My friends...

I have an iPhone!

Yes, it's true. And it is amazing. On so many levels.

First, I set it up ALL.BY.MYSELF. True story. I was forced to set it up all by myself. After John and I left AT&T he had to go up to Baylor to do some work for the Alleluia conference so I came home and did it all by myself. Go me!

Second, it's an iPhone. Enough said.

Now...I need your help. What are your favorite Apps? I've already downloaded TwitterFon, Facebook, Weather Channel and Fandango. But I know there is more amazing-ness out there.

So leave a comment and share the App Love!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Packing is quite the adventure. Well, adventure might be the wrong word but you know what I mean. I hope.

The Move
We've gotten a lot done. A lot. So much that it is really empty and depressing here. We've packed 67 boxes. I know this because my amazing-super organized-plans ahead husband did some research on moving. Since we are going to have movers (yes, Praise Jesus we have movers!) he found an article online that suggested numbering your boxes so that you know how many you have, how many make it on the truck and how many come off the truck. So we (and by we I mean John) printed out some labels with numbers, our last name and phone number. That way, if anything gets lost they know where to find us.

The Move
We've purchased several boxes but have been given a lot also. One box was used before us by a precious family and it looks like one of the kids had a creative moment on the box. Love it.

The Move
The boxes have also taken over our dining room. I figure since this room is right next to the front door it is the perfect place to stack them up. I pushed the furniture to the corner and started stacking. There's a lot there.

The Move
It is the perfect place for my computer since my desk is a disaster zone.

The Move
And thanks to my sweet friend, Courtney, I have been able to enjoy some down time with a guilty pleasure we share.

The Move
But next up on my to do list. I need to tackle this stack of magazines. I don't think it is right to pack these.

The Move

It's time to tear out pages.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Raspberry Cream Cupcakes

Raspberry Cream Cupcakes

These are probably John's favorite dessert. He requested these for his birthday "cake" and I was just as happy because the cupcakes can be made in advance and just topped with the raspberry cream before serving. These are very easy to make and are a great summer dessert.

Raspberry Cream Cupcakes

Raspberry Cream Cupcakes
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
1 1/3 cups water
3 large eggs whites
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 (6-ounce) containers fresh raspberries
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line 18 muffin cups with muffin papers. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cake mix, water, egg whites, melted butter, almond extract, and vanilla extract in a large bowl for 2 minutes, or until the batter is well blended. Using about 1/3 cup of batter for each cupcake, spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake the cupcakes until they are very pale golden on top, about 15 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely on a cooling rack.

Using a fork, coarsely mash 1 ½ containers of raspberries in a medium bowl. Beat the cream, vanilla and 1/3 cup of powdered sugar in a large bowl until firm peaks form. Fold the mashed raspberries into the whipped cream.

Remove the muffin papers from the cupcakes and cut the tops off of each cupcake. Spoon the raspberry whipped cream atop the cupcake bottoms. Place the cupcake tops on the cupcakes. Dust with more powdered sugar and serve with the remaining berries.

Friday, July 17, 2009

my "vacation"

So today starts my "summer vacation." I'm on vacation for the next week and it is going to be WILD!

My vacation includes these:
The Move

and a little of this:
The Move

a lot of this:
The Move

don't forget this:
The Move

Yeah, you're jealous.

Seriously though, it's weird. This whole packing up our lives thing. It's sad. It's exciting. It's a whole lot of emotions. It is also getting empty. And the walls are getting bare. And the number of boxes full of our worldly possessions is growing.

PS: I really wish I could hire someone to do the packing for me. And that they could be really good at it and be super organized and OCD. Otherwise, I will do it myself. Do you think Martha is available for hire? She's the only person I could trust.

PPS: I am looking forward to my mom coming this afternoon to help me pack...she is bringing Sprinkles Cupcakes to celebrate John's birthday!

**Anyone have any good packing/moving tips? Any and all are greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

One of my absolute favorite dessert combinations is chocolate and peanut butter. TO DIE FOR! I found this Paula Deen recipe several years ago and made it once then and forgot about it. Amazingly, one of my co-workers loves this combo also and is celebrating a birthday so I pulled out this recipe. I've changed a few things (like using more peanut butter and less shortening and topping it with the chopped Reese's). Make this tonight. It is fairly simple but out of this world! (Unfortunately, since this was a birthday cake I wasn't able to get a picture of the inside, but just imagine a very moist, peanut buttery cake!)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
adapted from Paula Deen

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder (this is not a typo…you really use that much!)
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about a sleeve and a half)
¾ cup peanut butter
½ cup shortening
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs

2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
Lots of Reese's peanut butter cups, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F if baking with a metal dish; 325 degrees F if using a glass dish.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add graham cracker crumbs, peanut butter, shortening, milk, and vanilla. Beat mixture with electric mixer on low until moistened, and then beat on medium for 2 minutes. Add eggs and beat for 1 minute. Bake in greased 9-inch by 13-inch pan for 25-30 minutes. Start checking at 20 minutes with a toothpick.

For the frosting: Combine confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, butter and heavy cream in a saucepan and bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Cool slightly and add vanilla extract. With a wooden spoon handle, poke a few holes in the cake, and then pour the warm frosting over it. Top with chopped Reese's!


I've got some news for you my friends.

John and I are moving!

This is such a bittersweet time for us. And that is the understatement of the year. Big understatement. Our time in Waco (all 8 years!) has been so sweet and full of memories, friends and love. Waco is our home (never thought I would say that), it is where we met, fell in love and started our married life together. It is where Baylor University is. We love this place.

We will also be leaving our church. Ouch..that one hurts. This is the church that we have loved and served for almost 4 years. Almost our whole married life. They have watched us grow in our marriage and have traveled with us through our life as newlyweds and grad school. We love the people in Hamilton more than they will ever know and will always hold a special place in our hearts for them.

But it is time for a new season. And we are so very excited. We will be moving to Victoria, Texas. Yes, way down south close to the coast! If you come visit I promise we will go to the beach! John will be serving a church in Victoria as the Associate Pastor of Music and Worship. This church is such a warm and loving place and we already feel so loved and welcome there. Our official move date is August 3rd. John's first day in the office is August 17th and our first Sunday is August 23rd.

Yes, we will be moving in Texas during August. Hello...Can we say hot??

So there you have it! Life is going to be pretty busy the next few weeks but we couldn't be more thrilled!

Monday, July 13, 2009

they say it's your birthday...

Happy Birthday to my beautiful sister and best friend!

Graduation Weekend 095

Whitney, I hope your day is absolutely wonderful! I love you!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

thursday's thoughts...

  • John stayed the night in Hamilton last night and I've noticed...When my husband is out of town I sleep on his pillow. Nothing sentimental like, " his scent, or how I miss him so." Simply his pillow is more comfortable than mine.
  • I actually made coffee at home this morning. Rare. Usually I buy it once I get to work. I'm saving money...even if it is only $0.73 a cup.
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince comes out in a week. Can we say excited?
  • The high today is 104. They say it is breaking a record that was set in 1917. Should we be proud?
  • Today is going to be a good day. I'm sure of it. Even though there was a mob of student cars parked in the faculty/staff parking this morning. Leaving no place for me. I'm not bitter.
  • I realize it's a big deal, but I'm getting tired of seeing Michael Jackson coverage everywhere. Everyday on the Today Show it is the first thing they talk about. I'm over it.
  • The longer I have my MacBook Pro the more I ask myself, "how did I survive before this?" It makes me realize I need an iPhone.
  • I've been listening to a lot of Elton John lately on my iPod. Anyone else go through phases of listening to just one artist?
  • John and I are going to go see Wicked (for the 2nd time) in August to celebrate our 4 year excited! And really...4 years!?!

I think that's all I've got today.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Happy Birthday John!

Happy Birthday to the man that makes me laugh many times a day!!!

John's 26th

I am so thankful for another year with you and I love you more each day!

John's 26th

Have a fantastic birthday...I can't wait to laugh more with you!

Monday, July 6, 2009

rainy days and Mondays...

Make sure you check out the post below for our 4th of July fun!

So it's raining today. If you live in the Central Texas area you know that. It started a little after 6:00 this morning. Complete with lots of thunder and lightening so of course I was up with the TV on checking all the local weather stations to see if that meant a tornado was coming. (I'm a little scared of tornadoes and as soon as it starts raining I'm checking the weather. Even if it is 2:00am. John is used to it.) Luckily the weather man said those magic words, "lots of rain but no severe weather." Whew! So I headed to the shower praying the power wouldn't go out since the electricity had already flickered a little.

It was POURING when I left for work (didn't help that I'm wearing a maxi dress today...I wasn't thinking too well this morning). So I'm holding my umbrella, purse, another bag with my breakfast and lunch, water bottle, the bottom of my dress and keys and run to my car. Get inside with my hair still dry (success!) and get to work. I pull up and there is a front row spot (another success...especially working at Baylor!) make it inside only a little wet (this time I did not hold up the bottom of my dress).

I was the first person into the office so it was quiet and dark. I started unloading my stuff, popped my breakfast in the microwave and the fire alarms go off! So I grab my purse and umbrella and head back outside in the RAIN just as one of my co-workers was pulling up so I got in her car and we waited. It took 3 fire trucks and firemen in full fire-fighting attire to assess the situation and let us know it was safe to go back inside.

{Side note: We already knew there wasn't a fire. The fire alarms go off ALL THE TIME right now. They are doing lots of work in our building and anytime one of the sensors gets bumped or a little dust they are set off.}

It brings a whole new meaning to the song lyrics, "rainy days and Mondays always get me down..."

Sunday, July 5, 2009

red, white and blue!

4th of July this year was HOT!

Our day started off extremely lazy. John had been in Houston all week at the CBF Meeting (Cooperative Baptist Fellowship) and got home EARLY Saturday 2:00 am early! We slept in, relaxed, watched tv and enjoyed time together. It was a perfect Saturday.

But it was still the 4th of we loaded up the 4Runner with our camping chairs, ice chest, blankets, and bug spray. We picked up the Broaddus' and after a great dinner at Pei Wei we headed to the 4th on the Brazos celebration in downtown Waco. We positioned ourselves on top of the Dutton Street parking garage on the edge of Baylor's campus. Spread out the blanket and enjoyed a couple hours before the fireworks started.

4th of July

We played Catch Phrase and drank lots of Dr Pepper and water because it was HOT. It was a great time as always and Paul and Angela (Patrick's sister and fiance) even joined us.

4th of July

4th of July

It was a Fabulous Fourth!

PS: It's good to be back! :)
Blogger Template By Designer Blogs